Commission Meeting
of
 
NEW JERSEY COMMISSION ON
CAPITAL BUDGETING AND PLANNING



 
 
LOCATION: Committee Room 16 

State House Annex 

Trenton, New Jersey

DATE: March 21, 1997 

9:30 a.m.

MEMBERS OF COMMISSION PRESENT:

B. Carol Molnar, Chair

Assemblyman Louis A. Romano

Linda M. Anselmini

Anthony F. Annese

Robert A. Roth

E. Martin Davidoff

Margaret M. Villane

ALSO PRESENT:

Thomas Neff

(representing Senator Robert E. Littell)

David Rosseau

(representing Senator Bernard F. Kenny Jr.)

Keith Davis

(representing Assemblywoman Carol J. Murphy)

Robert A. Kull

(representing Treasurer Brian W. Clymer)

Christina Higgins

(representing Michael R. Ferrara)
 

Paul Shidlowski, Acting Executive Director

New Jersey Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning

(Internet edition 1997)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

B. CAROL MOLNAR (Chair): I'd like to call the meeting to order. In accordance with the open public meetings law, the Commission has provided adequate public notice of this meeting by giving written notice of the time, date, place, and location at least 48 hours in advance, with notice being mailed and faxed to The Trentonian, The Star-Ledger, and filed with the office of the Secretary of State.

Our Director will now do the roll call.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Martin Davidoff?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Present.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Anthony Annese?

MR. ANNESE: I'm here, but, Madam Chair, I will have to leave by about 11:00. If a vote is imminent on any of the pending items we have before us, I will stay in case you need a quorum or my vote, but I cannot stay substantially past 11:00.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you very much.

MR. ANNESE: Thank you.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Robert Roth?

MR. ROTH: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Senator Littell? David Rosseau, representing Senator Kenny?

MR. ROSSEAU: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Keith Davis, representing Assemblywoman Murphy?

MR. DAVIS: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Assemblyman Romano?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Robert Kull, representing Treasurer Clymer?

MR. KULL: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Commissioner Anselmini?

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Christina Higgins, representing Mike Ferrara?

MS. HIGGINS: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Margaret Villane? (no response)

Ms. Carol Molnar?

MS. MOLNAR: Here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: We have a quorum, Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

We are changing the agenda slightly, Item 7 will be next, the New Jersey Building Authority's request for the capital projects on the State House dome and labor building.

We would like to welcome the Building Authority.

R U S S E L L R. H A R T: Good morning, Madam Chair, members of the Commission. My name is Russ Hart, and I'm the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting-- No.

Wishful thinking, right, Linda? (laughter)

MR. HART: Building and Construction -- Director of the Division of Building and Construction.

We're here today to present to you and to discuss with you the project reports for the State House dome restoration-repair project and the Department of Labor restoration-repair project.

With regard to the dome, this past summer the DBC engaged the services of a highly technical consulting team to assess the condition of the exterior and interior of the State House dome and rotunda. The consulting team was directed to do an extensive evaluation of the structure, determine the repair-restoration needs, recommend solutions, and provide us with an estimate.

This past December, the final report of the team's findings was issued. The report findings, which included a structural assessment, essential repairs, and interior restoration needs was developed into a project report. Before you, you have that project report.

And with me today are members of the project team, Jane Barton, who is the project director, and Dale Smith. We have a model of the dome which we would like to discuss with you and answer any questions that you may have about the project and how we proceed from here.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

J A N E B A R T O N: (stands before microphone) One of the reasons for having this model (indicating) is that it's a little easier to visualize what findings the -- we called it an investigatory conservation climbing team. But for the first time in, really the history of the dome, we were able to get inside the structure and take a look at what the conditions were.

In the past, since the dome was put on the State House in 1895 after the first one burned in a fire, we were able to-- It had always been sort of just repaired haphazardly. Well, I shouldn't say haphazardly, but in a fashion which was-- The immediate repairs were made and the structural repairs that were needed were never addressed.

So in this report, what the conservation climbing team discovered is that the tension rods which are holding the cupola onto the top of the dome -- and there are rods that run between here (indicating) through these columns and this part down below, and they're secured with plates -- due to rust and deterioration, those that have deteriorated so much that many of them have come loose, and this part (indicating) is in danger of falling off. So one of the first things that needs to happen is that this will need to be removed (indicating), the rods will be recapped, and this would have to be reattached and adhered to the dome itself.

When we first looked at this problem, we thought, of course, it was just a matter of regilding the dome, that this was going to be a quick repair and regilding job, but what we discovered is that inside the dome-- You can see (indicating) that there are 24 columns that are holding the dome up. These columns were designed so that they are supporting the dome, but they count on this, the cast-iron elements, around the drum to act as a shield or a reinforcement for the columns. These 800 pieces of cast iron have -- the fasteners have come loose. About 40 percent of them are loose, and therefore, they're not forming the tight shield that should exist to act as a reinforcement.

Then, the second problem is that these columns themselves must be reinforced. Now, the question then was: How do we get inside of the dome in order to reinforce the columns? You can either go from the interior, through the walls, to get to the columns, but the inside of the dome has-- It's made of sheet metal that has been shaped, and so on, and that material would essentially be ruined if we tried to get to the columns by that method.

Since these cast-iron pieces may even need to be recast, the method that has been determined would be the best would be to take off the cast-iron element, get to the columns themselves -- which are wrought iron -- reinforce them, as these pieces (indicating) are recast--

And although it looks like they're two easy pieces that can be readhered to the outside, they're really pieces that need to be put back, of course, in a very chronological and organized fashion because there is overlapping and flanges to protect the waterproof -- will prevent water from penetrating.

So the method will be then to put these back (indicating), but it means a complete disassembling of the outside of the dome, reinforcing the columns, putting back the cast iron, and then the last piece, which will be one of the simpler pieces -- although this was the problem that we were addressing in the beginning -- is that the copper sheathing on top of wooden ribs will essentially be taken off and destroyed/removed. There is lead paint on top of the copper and the most efficient, safest method will be to take that lead off-site and dispose of it that way, put back a copper-sheath roofing, and then reattach the cupola. Then there will be a final method of preventing water penetration with sealants and then the final repainting of the dome.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Are there any questions or comments?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Just one comment. Aren't we talking about doing work similar to the Statue of Liberty?

MS. BARTON: Yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Taking off the plates, new fasteners, etc., etc. That's basically what it becomes.

MS. BARTON: Absolutely.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I just have one question. The piece that looks like the top of the wedding cake--

MS. BARTON: Right.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: What rods are you referring to that have to be replaced? The ones in that piece itself?

MS. BARTON: These are columns, but inside of each one of these columns are rods--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Okay.

MS. BARTON: --that drop down to hold all these pieces together, and rather than glueing it all together, essentially you have to have pieces that run through it to hold the different sections together -- the columns in place. And then hold this (indicating) to the dome itself.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Thank you very much. That explains it.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have a couple of questions. First of all, the final painting of that, is that gold that you put on at the end?

MS. BARTON: This section (indicating) is all painted, and then on the very top of here (indicating) it would be painted, it will be actual gold leaf.

MR. DAVIDOFF: It will be gold leaf?

MS. BARTON: Right.

MR. DAVIDOFF: What is the cost of the gold leaf part of that?

MS. BARTON: The gold leaf is the smallest portion of the project, and I think it's $350,000. It's an item--

D A L E S M I T H: It's about that. About $400,000, I think it is, Jane.

MR. DAVIDOFF: So, I mean-- Because a lot of people will say, "Boy, you're spending $12 million just to put gold on the top," and you're telling me that the cost of that is $350,000. Is that accurate?

MS. BARTON: I believe that--

MR. DAVIDOFF: Well, while they're looking that up--

MR. HART: It's $432,000.

MS. BARTON: It's $432,000. I don't know if you're also aware that there is a private fund-raising effort to raise $2 million.

MR. DAVIDOFF: That was my next question. How was that $2 million figure picked? Why not $4 million? (laughter)

MS. BARTON: Well, actually, if $4 million is raised that will be ideal. They're not putting a cap on the $2 million, but--

MR. DAVIDOFF: Where did the number get developed from?

MS. BARTON: The number got developed from looking at the last one-sixteenth of an inch of finishing that would be required to complete the project. In other words, the gold leaf itself will be paid for with private fund-raising, and on the inside of the dome where there is going to be historic paint -- where there are going to be historic paints added and restoration of the original decorative painting, that, too, will be done with private funds.

MR. DAVIDOFF: So, basically, the nonessential parts, you're saying, is going to be done with private funds?

MS. BARTON: Right. All the structural element cost and all the absolutely essential items are going to be paid for with State funding. Then, sort of the finish, the cream, or the icing on the cake, so to speak, will be done with private funding.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay. That's a reasonable approach, I understand that. Just a couple of questions: You talked about in 1972 there was an inadequate service preparation and inferior materials-- I imagine in 1970 there was a well-meaning body of people, just like yourselves, who came up and said, "We need to do this work and we need to do this--" Well-intentioned and then the work got done and it didn't get supervised, obviously. What steps are you taking to make sure that 25 years from now somebody doesn't say, "Well, in 1998, they didn't properly prepare the surface and that's why we're having all the problems. They didn't properly do this." What kinds of supervisory levels are going to be taken to make sure that this takes place properly this time?

MS. BARTON: I don't know whether Russ wants to address that in terms of a management issue, but answering it personally, my attempt on this project has been to bring in the top experts in the country to make this kind of assessment of the problem. We are working, in fact, with people who have done work on the Statue of Liberty.

With the gold leafing, which deteriorated far too rapidly than it should have, I am working with people -- both international consultants and people here -- to determine the weight of the gold leaf, and we've had metallurgists--

MR. DAVIDOFF: I understand that you're working with great consultants. How are we going to know that the contractor is going to do the right job, and what kinds of specifications do you anticipate putting into the bid to prevent the problem of 25 years ago? I guess it is a management problem, maybe I'm--

MR. HART: Well, part of the specifications that we developed included that management oversight from the outset of the project. As Jane pointed out, we went through the process of getting what we felt were the best in the industry for metallurgy and for some of the highly technical aspects of this project.

In addition to that, when we go forward, we expect to have a technical management support consultant on staff with us to oversee not only what the contractors are doing, but also to assure compliance with the design specifications that are being developed currently by us, jointly with the consultant who we have hired.

And in addition to that, we've got the DBC daily oversight of the project. We will have the architect overseeing the work of the contractor. We will have a construction manager confirming both the work of the contractor and the architect, and DBC will be involved on a daily basis on the oversight, as well.

MR. DAVIDOFF: And you're going to make sure that happens, right?

MR. HART: That's correct.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, we have that in the minutes, I'm satisfied.

MS. MOLNAR: I have a follow-up for your same question. I read someplace that you're anticipating that the average life of gold leaf will only be 25 years, and in 25 years we will have to rededicate money again anyway.

MS. BARTON: But not--

MS. MOLNAR: It's $400,000 at least.

MR. HART: Right.

MS. BARTON: Right.

MR. HART: Not to the extent of which we're talking about for the major restoration that we're dealing with now.

MS. MOLNAR: Right. It's $432,000 for the gold leaf, so by then it will be half a million.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I had the same note. It lasted 25 years with a sloppy job, heck, it should last 50 years with a good job.

MS. MOLNAR: I think it has more to do with the weather, etc.

MR. HART: Actually, it's lasted over 100 years with nothing from 1889--

MS. BARTON: You mean the dome.

MR. HART: Yes, the dome itself.

MS. BARTON: One of the questions when you're looking at this is whether or not-- We even discussed whether it should be replaced with aluminum, and so on. But there is no reason why the cast iron shouldn't last another 100 years. Yes, it's true that gold leaf does have a shorter term life expectancy and would have to be renewed, possibly, every 25 years.

MR. ROTH: Are there any--

Madam Chair, are there any resins, clear-plastic resins, you can put over the gold leaf to protect it and still have the shine?

MS. BARTON: We've looked at that, but so far none exists. That's one of the wonders, I think, of gold still, is that it seems to be a rather magical substance as its allure.

MS. MOLNAR: Are there any other questions, Martin?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Would a motion be in order at this point?

MS. MOLNAR: Not yet.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: No, just let me ask one question about the gold leaf. How is it applied? Do they take the sheets off and do it, or is it sprayed on? What are we doing?

MS. BARTON: There is a sizing that will be put on first, and then the gold leaf is applied in a very, very thin sheet.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: The layers.

MS. BARTON: Right, layers. We'll be using a double -- a thicker gold leaf than was used before. That was one of the errors, that it was too thin, the sizing wasn't quite right, and the burnishing that was done was not done as expertly as it probably should have been.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I assume you're going to recycle the pieces left over?

MS. BARTON: Yes. Actually, the gold will-- When we've looked at it, it's adhered to the lead underneath it, so we can't separate and recycle the gold, but where we can get small pieces of gold off, we will be saving those.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I don't even want to ask the question, how about the lead that's underneath?

MS. BARTON: Well, that's why we're taking off the copper which has the paint and the gold leafing adhered to it and completely removing that to dispose of it off-site. Otherwise, the State is responsible for it and there would be a lot of health and safety issues.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: That's why I asked the question.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Now, under N.J.S.A., the Commission is to make findings as to whether the project is necessary and convenient to meet the needs of the State agencies, whether the project is consistent with the State Capital Improvement Plan, and whether it meets the criteria established by the Commission. Is there a motion to approve this project?

Marty?

MR. DAVIDOFF: I so move.

MS. MOLNAR: Do I hear a second?

MR. ROTH: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. We'll take the roll.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Davidoff?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Annese?

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Roth?

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Assemblyman Romano?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Kull?

MR. KULL: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Commissioner Anselmini?

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Higgins?

MS. HIGGINS: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Villane?

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Molnar?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: The resolution passes, Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

We have another project: The Labor Building Renovation Project.

MR. HART: Right. In 1994, visual observations of the exterior of the marble panel of the Labor Building revealed distortion and cracking of the material. In 1995, initial testing of the material confirmed the deterioration conditions. Upon learning this, the New Jersey State Building Authority directed the DBC to secure design consulting services for further evaluation, repair, and replacement of the siding.

In August of 1995, the design consulting firm issued its report and recommendations. The substance of the report was summarized by the DBC in a letter of recommendation dated October 1995. That recommendation appears before you today as a project report and resolution requiring your approval.

I'm here today to answer any questions that you may have about the report. I'd like to ask Fred Stults of the DBC to join me at the table. Fred was the coordinator for the DBC organization with the design consultant in preparing an assessment and evaluation of the building itself. I have no model to refer to, but I certainly have the technical expertise in Fred and myself where we can answer any questions you may have about the building, the deterioration in the panels, and how we plan to proceed from here.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

I have one question. The ongoing maintenance, under Roman numeral V, you say that granite panels will have to be recaulked every eight years. Do you have a dollar figure? Are we talking $10,000? Are we talking $100,000 or a million dollars? I have no feel for that.

MR. HART: I don't know the estimate that we placed on that.

Do you have that?

H. F R E D E R I C K S T U L T S: It's about a million dollars.

MR. HART: A million dollars for recaulking?

MR. STULTS: Right.

MS. MOLNAR: So every eight years we're going to have to dedicate a million to recaulk? In lieu of the granite panels, is there any other replacement that wouldn't require this dedication of a million dollars?

MR. HART: Well, Madam Chair, there is no replacement that wouldn't require some form of maintenance. The consultant looked at a variety of different options. Granite appeared to be the best not only in terms of resiliency, but also in terms of maintenance and aesthetically matching what is currently there and marble is currently there.

MR. STULTS: I'm sorry, I mislead you. The million dollars was if we just put granite panels up without replacing the aluminum curtain wall. With the aluminum curtain wall and the granite panels, they're going to have neoprene gaskets instead of the caulking that was originally proposed, and the maintenance would be minimal. The cost would be different because you wouldn't have that caulking.

MS. MOLNAR: You'd still have some caulking, though, right?

MR. STULTS: Right.

MR. HART: There still would be some--

MR. STULTS: But it's not that--

MR. HART: --but it wouldn't be a million dollars.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Which would come out of their operating budget, right?

MR. HART: Right.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Are there any other questions from Commission members?

Marty.

MR. DAVIDOFF: It appears to me there are two parts to this project. One is the replacement of existing windows with an energy efficient, double-glazed window system, which means you replace all the windows in the building?

MR. HART: That would be correct, sir.

MR. DAVIDOFF: What portion of the cost is attributable to that?

MR. STULTS: We didn't get into that deep -- that design detail to be able to estimate that part.

MR. DAVIDOFF: In other words, you don't know, out of the $12.3 million, how much is for the windows and how much is for granite?

MR. HART: We didn't break down the glazing and the granite.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Any idea, guys?

MR. HART: Well, we estimate the granite to be between $4 million and $5 million, and the remainder of the project would be for the curtail wall, as well as the glazing.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay. Now, you've confused me. Is the curtail wall the windows?

MR. HART: The curtain wall includes the windows.

MR. DAVIDOFF: All right. I'm real confused.

MR. HART: Okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I'm a layperson. I'm an accountant. I understand replacing windows; you take out a window, you put in a window. What is a curtain wall?

MR. HART: The curtain wall is the exterior portion of the building other than the marble panel and the glazing.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay. Does that require replacement?

MR. HART: In the opinion of the consultant, it did. It does require replacement.

MR. DAVIDOFF: And when you replace that it's necessary to replace the windows, too?

MR. HART: Yes. The recommendation is to replace the window with the curtain wall and the marble panel itself.

MR. DAVIDOFF: What if you don't-- Again, I'm separating the projects -- granite we'll get to. This curtain wall-windows, what if you don't replace it? What happens?

MR. HART: Then the cost is less for the project.

MR. DAVIDOFF: But what-- That I understand. What happens? Does the building fall apart?

MR. HART: No.

MR. STULTS: The consultant's concern was that the aluminum curtain wall and the caulking material has reached the end of its useful life. He estimated that it's anywhere from 20 to 25 years -- the life of this curtain wall.

MR. HART: When we engaged the consultant to do the assessment, the specific direction that the consultant received was to deal with the deterioration of the marble and to make a recommendation to us on the best solution for that portion of the project. Through the course of his evaluation of the marble, he also determined that given the life cycle of the curtain wall and the technical advances that have been made in glazing, it would be an opportune time to not only do the removal of the marble and replacement with a new panel, but also to address the curtain wall and the glazing.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I wish you did have a model of this, because it would be helpful. The existing marble-facade panels, what are these? Is this just at the front of the building, some decorative kinds of things? Are these structural components? I have no idea what you're talking about.

MR. HART: They're decorative.

MR. DAVIDOFF: They're decorative. These are decorative. Okay. The other thing is, you have a current project where you're spending $22.7 million.

MR. HART: That's the interior restoration of the building.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Right, and that's going to take 12 years? Why is that going to take so long?

MR. HART: It was phased in over the 12-year period, starting on a floor-by-floor restoration-renovation project.

MR. DAVIDOFF: So like half a floor a year, something like that?

MR. HART: Approximately that, yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay.

MR. HART: We're finishing up the project now. We have three floor remaining in the building.

MR. DAVIDOFF: All right. And none of those funds could be used or diverted for this purpose that you're coming to us today?

MR. HART: All of those funds are committed to the interior restoration-renovation. If there are excess funds available, we would certainly be able to dedicate it, with the approval of the Building Authority and, again, this body -- any excess money that might be there within the project. We don't anticipate that there would be an excess at this point. All the money is committed for the restoration.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Maggie.

MS. VILLANE: Would the tenants of the building have to be relocated while this project is being done?

MR. HART: We don't anticipate any relocation of tenants, no.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Could you tell us what the life expectancy of this work is that you're doing?

MR. HART: The new work? It's 25 to 30 years.

MR. ANNESE: Okay. Thank you.

MS. MOLNAR: That includes the curtain wall and granite?

MR. HART: Correct. That's the life expectancy of the existing curtain wall and granite, as well. That's the predicted life span in the industry standard for curtain walling-exterior siding.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: For purposes of comparison for the Commission members, what would a replacement building of this size cost?

MR. HART: I don't have information to give to you.

Do you have that?

MR. STULTS: I wouldn't know.

MR. DAVIDOFF: How many square feet is the building?

MR. HART: Offhand, I don't know that.

MR. STULTS: I believe each floor is about 20,000 square feet, and I think there are 10 floors there.

MS. MOLNAR: In hindsight, it sounds like we would never build a building similar to this again, with this type of exterior. It kind of reminds of the lab, which is round. We would probably build a square lab in the future. So we kind of have to deal with what we have. It would be too expensive to knock it down and start all over again.

Linda.

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Is there Federal money available to offset some of the State cost, given the fact that the Department of Labor is 90 percent federally funded?

MR. HART: We didn't investigate that aspect of the project. We could certain research that if it's--

MS. HIGGINS: But it's amortized against lease payment, and some of those payments would be Federal.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I'm sorry, could you restate that?

MS. HIGGINS: Aren't some of the lease payments a combination of State and Federal, so that Federal funds would flow in that way?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: We do get some Federal dollars from Labor as direct lease payments.

Perhaps, you'd care to elaborate, Mr. Mazzella?

A N T H O N Y M A Z Z E L L A: (speaking from audience) In terms of Labor's payments?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Yes.

MR. MAZZELLA: Well, the Labor Department does provide the central rent account here in the Department of Rent Account where the fund's predicated on particular federally funded programs.

MS. MOLNAR: I'm sorry, could you step up here for our transcribers? (witness complies) Would you state your name and spell it?

MR. MAZZELLA: My name is Anthony Mazzella. I'm the Director of the Division of Property Management within the Treasury Department.

With respect to Labor Department funds: The Labor Department is funded through Federal programs that provide approximately 75 percent to 80 percent of their leasehold expenditures from Federal funds to the extent that those funds are applied to any debt associated with the labor building, I am personally unaware of that. There may be some particular Federal account providing a direct payment, but that may be a function of some of the previous renovation work that was done prior to this last phase.

In response to the earlier question, in terms of a rebuild to the building, assuming about $150 per square foot to construct, we would estimate that that particular project would be about a $50 million to $60 million project to rebuild. That would not include costs associated with demolition at the current site, if that was to occur, and it would also not include the cost for the asbestos abatement that was part of this original project which was originally the premise of the renovation project.

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Is there any way that we could pursue the Federal money? I mean, if you look at the first phase of the project that had partial Federal funding. It's my understanding that the original building was built primarily with Federal funds back in 1964. So I guess my question is, wouldn't this be -- lend itself to being eligible for Federal funding, as well, some portion of it anyway?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: If I could interject-- We can explore those options. The financial arrangements that the State has with the Building Authority is that the Building Authority will hold a lease for the labor building and the State will make payments through the Central Rent Account equivalent to the debt service for the cost of the renovations. We can explore whether we can get any Federal dollars to offset that lease payment and report back to the Commission at a later date.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, the Building Authority intends to pay for this by bonding it?

MR. HART: Correct.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Christina.

MS. HIGGINS: I was just going to refer to Roman numeral IV, which is how I understood the funding, because it does indicate that the amortization would be through the annual lease payment, and to the degree that those lease payments already include the Federal funds, that would be how the stream of money would come. But I would agree that we should actively pursue that.

MS. MOLNAR: All right.

Well, we can approve the capital project and request that the Building Authority pursue other financial -- explore the options.

Are there any other questions, if not, is there a motion to approve this project or projects? For the labor building renovation project? Is there a motion to approve?

MS. VILLANE: I'll make a motion to approve.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Do I hear a second?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: It seems pretty quiet today. I'll second the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, Assemblyman.

All right, we'll take a roll.

Oh, any questions?

MR. DAVIDOFF: I'd like some discussion on the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Sure.

MR. DAVIDOFF: We have a one-page summary of the capital construction that did get approved from the Governor's office versus what we requested. I'm going to ask my colleagues-- I don't believe the timing for this is to vote yes on this, when we have forensic labs in the police department that are not approved; roofs -- many roofs -- hundreds of thousands for roofs on youth facilities that were not approved; college maintenance, we couldn't even get a half percent approved by the Governor's office; emergency repairs have been rejected and are not part of the budget.

I can't, in good conscience, authorize something that, in part, is decorative, and in part, is some consultant saying it's reached the end of its life, because we all know when we sit here that we see many things that are 20, 30, 40, 50 years beyond the end of their life and somehow they're managing. This would have a precedent. What's going to happen? The Community Affairs building, "Hey, that needs a new exterior," the next building, the next building, the next building. I just don't think, in this particular situation, that the standards that you read, that this is essential and necessary and required-- I don't think the burden has been met here in showing that that is.

I think we would be doing a large disservice to our public, who we represent, and to our constituencies if we approve this. There are so many much more pressing items that we just went through in September to December that are not being funded -- critical repairs that are not going to be done, that are not going to be in the budget, and, although this would be a nice project if we had an infinite supply of dollars, I just cannot vote in favor of it and I ask my colleagues to join me.

MS. MOLNAR: I just have one question. Is there a safety issue with these granite panels?

MR. STULTS: Yes, there is.

MR. HART: Yes, there is, Madam Chair. The granite-- I'm sorry, the marble panels have deteriorated to a point where there is concern that continual deterioration may foster some of the panels to deteriorate to the point where they would fall from the building itself. That hasn't happened. The consultant has told us that there is no emergent concern with that, but we have taken precautions and provided safety canopies for access and egress to the building.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: If you removed the panels and did not replace them and did not do the curtain wall, that would obviously be a much less expensive project than we were talking about, is that correct?

MR. HART: Just removing the--

MR. DAVIDOFF: Removing the panels, I understand they're decorative.

MR. HART: And just leave the building without any panels on it at all?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Well, again, I don't have a picture of the building. I don't know if you can't imagine, but I was just told by your expert here that they're merely decorative and that they have no function other than to be decorative.

MS. VILLANE: Excuse me, isn't that part of the insulation of the building?

MR. HART: It's part-- It's an integral part of the curtain wall of the building. As the building was built, the curtain wall was installed and the marble panels were inserted in the curtain wall.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have a picture here. What are the marble panels we're talking about replacing?

MR. STULTS: They're the tan-colored, horizontal panels. They're approximately four feet by four and a half feet.

MR. DAVIDOFF: These panels here? (indicating)

MR. STULTS: Under the windows, yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: On every floor?

MR. STULTS: Right. And if they were removed there is a grout filler behind them that would-- I think the aesthetics of the building would be lost then.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I see. Okay. I thought these were just two large panels sitting on the building. These are throughout the entire building.

MR. STULTS: Right, on each floor.

MR. HART: About 30 percent of the building, the exterior side of the building.

MR. DAVIDOFF: And what do you do when they come off now, do you repair them?

MR. HART: Well, fortunately, to date, nothing has come off other than what we've taken off of the building, but they're convex to the point where they're bowing out and protruding from the building. The report indicates that the deterioration has started, in approximately 60 percent of these, from the center out. When you get around the edges of the building, you find that it hasn't deteriorated quite as extensively as it has in the center of panel.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Couldn't this be a maintenance thing that you do? I mean, this looks like an ongoing thing. It's a big building. Shouldn't this be part of the maintenance budget where you do a 25th of the building each year, replace the panels, and then go onto the next? I don't know if people have seen this picture, but it's--

MR. ROTH: Why don't we pass that around?

MR. DAVIDOFF: These are the panels (indicating) they're talking about, and it's the whole building. It would just seem that seems to be a maintenance thing. If you go into a routine maintenance and you say, "Okay, over 25 years, I have to replace these. I'm going to replace so much, and I'm going to put it in my operating budget."

Again, I don't see it as part of a required capital expenditure, but I appreciate you giving us the picture. It gives me a better idea.

MS. MOLNAR: Well, Marty, you realize they're going to bond this. They're not going to take it out of operating budget.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I understand. There is a limit to bonding.

MS. MOLNAR: Are there any other questions or comments? (no response)

Take a roll.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Davidoff?

MR. DAVIDOFF: No.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Annese?

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Roth?

MR. ROTH: No.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Assemblyman Romano?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Kull?

MR. KULL: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Commissioner Anselmini?

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Higgins?

MS. HIGGINS: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Villane?

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Molnar?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

I just want to mention that Assemblywoman Carol Murphy did send a letter regretting she could not be here. She has another meeting. She believes -- she read the background material accompanying the agenda-- And she supports both projects, the State House dome and the labor building.

Thank you. Thank you very much

MR. HART: Thank you.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, we're going back to our original order of things. Now, you received some minutes, the actual transcript rather than a summary. We have to approve these minutes.

Before we approve them, is there any discussion? I know Robert Roth faxed -- at least, I got a fax, of some of his comments. Sometimes, there are phonetic errors -- you know, GAAP, meaning generally accepted accounting principles, versus the word gap, G-A-P. So you'll get some of that.

You also brought up another inconsistency.

Is there any discussion on the minutes?

MR. ROTH: Well, I would just like to have the inconsistencies, with respect to my own statements, corrected, as I pointed out in my memo.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Any inconsistencies on the part of the transcribed minutes, if Commission members bring them to our attention, we'll make them part of the permanent record.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, it's my understanding that it takes some time to do the summary. I like the summary. It's a little quicker to read than the large transcript, but it does take a lot of time for the staff to do the summary.

MR. ROTH: Another point, Madam Chair, that I raised in my memo was that I think if all members who are present at a meeting review their own statements and make corrections, it will simplify the process, because we certainly can't really remember what everyone else has said, but we probably do remember what we said.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes, that's a good point.

Are there any other comments?

Oh, Marty, I'm sorry.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes, two things. I found the summaries much more helpful, and I think that the burden of the time of the staff to prepare it versus the time that we all save in having to review six or eight or ten pages rather than sixty-three, a hundred pages might well be worth it.

The other thing is, if you read the last minutes -- the December minutes -- no where in there-- If you're doing a summary you'll say, here were the amounts-- You'd have a summary -- here are the amounts proposed and here are the amounts approved. You can't get that from minutes. Those are not contained anywhere in the minutes. You have to kind of-- You have to have all the materials with us and say, "Okay, I added 116, I added this. Okay, what's the final number?" and there's no way to tell, unless -- except from Paul's good -- his taking notes and he'll tell-- I'll say, "Well, what's the total dollars?" 'Cause nowhere in the minutes is there some summary that says, "Here's the summary of what was all approved and everything."

So I think that, although, these might be expedient -- and I've been a secretary of the New Jersey Society of CPAs, and I have sat through six- or seven-hour meetings, and then I have to listen to the tapes, and I have to condense those six- or seven-hour meetings into six or eight or ten pages. I very well know firsthand exactly what it entails. I just think it's better for our Commission to be doing that rather than killing a few trees -- unless we're helping the lumber industry here -- with all this paper that we're generating. I personally would like to go back to the old fashioned--

The other thing is just a minor note. You have my name here as E. Martin Davidoff, Esq. Although I am an attorney, I practice primarily as a CPA, and since nobody else has their profession after their name, I guess it's probably appropriate that be deleted.

MS. MOLNAR: On the transcription, it's my understanding, whether we request it or not, these minutes are transcribed into hard copy anyway.

Is that right? Is that correct?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: That's true. There's a several month lag between the meeting and us receiving an actual transcribed copy. So for most meetings we wouldn't have the benefit of a transcribed copy of the meeting. So we would produce the summarized minutes; however, since it's been several months since our last meeting, we had the benefit of having received the transcribed copies of the meeting from the Office of Legislative Services Hearing Unit.

MS. MOLNAR: So going forward, if we have meetings currently one after another, we'll probably get that summary.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Yes, Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Robert.

MR. KULL: Madam Chair, what constitutes the minutes then? Is the minutes the transcription of the proceedings, or does it also include all the attachments that Mr. Davidoff referred to?

MS. MOLNAR: It's my understanding that the minutes should incorporate by record any attachments that the members had in front of them at that meeting.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: The official record of the meeting includes not only the transcribed copy of the meeting, but all the materials that were presented at the meeting, as well, including presentation materials from anyone who appears to give testimony in front of the Commission.

MS. MOLNAR: David.

MR. ROSSEAU: One question. If members of the public request the minutes, is there a charge for photocopying or anything for that?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: To my knowledge, nobody's ever requested a copy of the minutes. That's not something that we've had to wrestle with.

MS. MOLNAR: Within reason, if they ask for one or two copies, I don't think it would be a problem.

Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: This question is for Paul. How long does it take the staff to prepare the summaries?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: About three days.

MR. ANNESE: Does the staff use the summaries in doing its work throughout the year?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: No.

MR. ANNESE: Okay. Does the staff use the transcription to do its work throughout the year?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: No.

MR. ANNESE: All right. Thank you.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. So going forward, we will probably still get the summaries, correct?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Yes.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Can we approve the minutes of November 22 and December 13? Can we approve them together or do we have to do them separately?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Unless there is an objection on the part of the Commission members.

MS. MOLNAR: I'd like to do them together.

MR. ROTH: A question on the motion. Since I was not present at the November meeting but I have read the transcript, on other boards that I serve that would give me the right to vote on it. Is that the same policy here?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes. It's not a problem.

Okay. Can we take a roll on approving the minutes from both meetings, November and December?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Davidoff?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Annese?

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Roth?

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Rosseau?

MR. ROSSEAU: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Davis?

MR. DAVIS: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Assemblyman Romano?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Kull?

MR. KULL: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Commissioner Anselmini?

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Higgins?

MS. HIGGINS: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Villane?

MS. VILLANE: Abstain.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Molnar?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

Now, is there any item for the Executive Director's report?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I do have a short report, Madam Chair.

Since our last meeting, the Commission staff have been working on the final report of the Commission's recommendations. We've made considerable progress. The final report includes the missions and objectives of the various departments, a description and a summarization of the long-term debt as presented to the Commission, a report on maintenance, as well. We should be completed mid-April. It will be distributed when it's completed.

Since our last meeting, we've also conducted a postmortem of the 1998 capital planning process amongst ourselves in order to try to improve that process for the next capital planning cycle. I know that we have promised to bring up the question of criteria for Commission members. I would request that we do that at a subsequent meeting. We'll present that material to the Commission members and we can have a discussion at that time.

I had requested the Department of Transportation come and provide an overview of their capital program at this meeting; however, they'd requested an extension from the Legislature for their submission until April 1. They have a great reluctance to discuss their capital program prior to its submission to the Legislature. They've agreed to come to a subsequent Commission meeting to present that overview.

I presented-- In the Commission's packets and briefing materials that they received, we included a copy of the capital construction section from the Governor's budget. Generally speaking, as you look through the material their FY98 requested column represents what was recommended by the Commission, not what was requested by Departments. The only variance from that would be the $42 million which was included in the Department of Environmental Protection that represents the dedication of the corporate business tax for hazardous site cleanups.

If there are any questions from Commission members, I'd be glad to address them, otherwise, that concludes my report, Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Could you just clarify that? You mean to say that the requested on the capital construction is our request and not the--

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: That's correct. The total requested by the colleges, departments, and agencies totaled over $2.5 billion.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes. And the recommended-- This is what the Governor's office is recommending, the $505,925,000?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: That's correct.

MR. DAVIDOFF: It appears to me that's a lot higher proportion than in previous years on nontransportation.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: It represents the highest level of capital funding for about the past nine years.

MS. MOLNAR: Any questions or comments? (no response)

Any old business? (no response)

I have one question. One of our mandates is to approve the overall debt of the State. We received the Treasurer's report. We received it, but we didn't endorse it. I believe we just received it -- the wording was in the minutes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: That's correct, Madam Chair.

We have included a summarization of that report in the final report with the Commission recommendations; however, as you know, one of our other requirements is to make a recommendation on any increase in that. I don't know that we're prepared to do that this year. That could be included as one of our improvements for next year.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Our inability to be prepared this year may lead us to possibly request the Legislature to do two things -- and since we have at least one legislator here, we can take it to them. One is to have the capital debt report done at a time other than during the year when we're doing all our capital projects.

The second is to have, in effect, a permanent, full-time staff associated with our Commission so that we can be doing this work and getting information that we've talked about as to what other kinds of debt are around the State and gather that information so we can provide it to the Legislature, as I interpret the law or at least the spirit of the law. So my request would be for us to do that. I think Paul's done an excellent job with the staff and budgeting that he's had, and I just think that if they're expecting all of this from this Commission, that they should allocate some funding for us to do the job properly and with the appropriate staff.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, it's my understanding that the timing of the capital debt report, that would require a legislative change -- a change in the legislation.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Yes. I believe that the current statute requires that the debt report be completed by December 1.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes, it would require a change in statute.

MS. MOLNAR: All right and the full--

MR. DAVIDOFF: We also had talked about a change in the statute for the capital projects. We always seem to get it about December 15 and extend that a couple of weeks, so we can be in compliance with the law, so if we're going to make changes that might be one also.

MS. MOLNAR: All right. The full-time staff, I believe that's already in the legislation, that would just require more of an appropriation from the Legislature.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: It would require an appropriation sufficient to fund the staff and the Executive Director. Right now, the Commission receives no appropriation at all, and the Office of Management and Budget graciously donates our time to the Commission as staff.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Rosseau.

MR. ROSSEAU: Paul, what might be helpful to some of the newer members on the Commission is a historical perspective of the staffing of the Commission, I guess going back to the 80s when it did have a full-time staff and I guess it was in the early 90s where the money was-- Because if I remember, it was actually a separate line item in the budget in the miscellaneous executive commissions. That may be helpful, to get a historical perspective on what happened.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: To the extent that we can reconstruct that history, we'll be glad to present that for Commission members.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Linda.

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: My question is, can we just-- If this is a requirement of the Commission, can we just decide not to do it? -- the recommendation on the debt.

MS. MOLNAR: I was wondering the same thing.

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: I mean, from a legal perspective, can you just walk away from it?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I think that's a question that I would have to defer to an attorney, I guess, or receive some legal advice-- This was the first year-- It was rather an abbreviated timetable. We're just not prepared to make a recommendation on increasing the overall debt of the State.

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Well, I guess I'm questioning whether or not that a defensible position given the requirement of the Commission to do that.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I can seek advice on that point.

MS. MOLNAR: Maybe we can make a recommendation, but it would be late; there would be a time line.

All right. Could we request Paul to look into that?

MS. HIGGINS: One option would be to recommend the report that was given. Isn't that right? That is an option.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: The report -- it didn't include a recommendation on increasing the overall debt.

MS. HIGGINS: So that component of the charge would be omitted?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: As of right now that's correct.

MR. ROTH: May I comment?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. ROTH: Failing having the adequate staff to do the job, the only recommendation this Commission would make would be that the debt should stay at the same level or less.

MS. MOLNAR: We can't even say that, though.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Can you repeat that, please?

MR. ROTH: That the debt should stay at the same level or less, and the less would fall into place as existing bonds are paid off. You just don't renew them. I mean, if we're in a position where we're being forced to make a recommendation and we don't have the staff or the wherewithal to do the work, all we can conclude is to leave it as it is.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: No, I think we have a-- You've raised a more important question. I think we have a responsibility to go back to the Legislature and say, "You've given us a job without the adequate resources. We would like to do the job. Please give us the resources so we can do the job." I think that would be the essential of what this Commission would have to do, and go back to the Legislature and say, "We need the tools. If we don't have the tools, the budget, and the people, we can't do the job."

So I think we can't ignore it. I agree with you, but I think we may not be able to do it, and if we can't do it we need to go back and say, "Well, here's why we can't do it." Let's not wait for-- In fact, we did get letters in January asking this for us from, I believe--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Myself.

MR. DAVIDOFF: --yourself, and one of the Senators, and I think it's important that we respond to those letters to the effect -- and I'm just talking, I'm not making a motion yet -- that say, "Listen, we've gotten your letters. Thank you very much. We appreciate all this wonderful responsibility you've give us. Now please give us the budget and the staff to do it."

MR. ROTH: We're not really disagreeing, Mr. Davidoff. You're suggesting an approach that has to be taken, and I'm suggesting the recourse if that approach isn't taken, so it amounts to about the same thing.

MS. MOLNAR: David, you had a--

MR. ROSSEAU: Yes. I just think we should keep in mind that it's not just the Legislature, it's the Treasurer's office and the Governor's office who initially proposes a budget and the money isn't in the proposed budget either. So it's really a joint responsibility of the executive branch and the Legislature.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I wasn't just-- I didn't mean to just pick on the Legislature. I apologize.

MS. MOLNAR: Could we request-- Would it be out of line to ask you to go back and find out if we would be derelict in our duties if we don't do a report or what?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Not do the report at all or not include an assessment of any increase?

MS. MOLNAR: Well, not including any recommendation, which is what the legislation says.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Yes, I will pursue that question.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, and how about a timing lag, perhaps? Could you do it if there was more time, make a recommendation if you had another six months?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Neither I nor my staff have the expertise to make that assessment. It would have to be something that would be referred to the Office of Public Finance.

MS. MOLNAR: That reports into the Treasurer's office, right?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Yes.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Madam Chair, I don't know the dissemination of the letter sent by Senator Kenny and myself. Did that go to all the members?

MS. MOLNAR: Everyone got copies, yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Everyone received the letter.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: We're back to that again, because I believe the overall debt at the time when the Treasurer came here was $9.2 billion of total debt.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: The number in the debt report that was presented by the Treasurer was about $8.5 billion. The State's financial report has a number of $9.2 billion. It includes certain things like unpaid sick leave.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Right. Now going on that basis, right now we're going through-- Last night I left the State House at 9:30 and upon the completion of the Appropriations Committee, because we are passing through on $2.9 billion in pension payments -- bonds to pay on pension liability. I even wonder in that case, is this Commission supposed to pass on that 2.9 before anything is done with it?

Does anybody have any comments about that?

MS. MOLNAR: It's my understanding we do not review debt that is not backed by the full faith and credit of the State. Clymer went through that, just certain items that do have the backing of the State which we do look at--

MR. ROSSEAU: We just backed-- We just supported a debt that isn't the full faith and the State with two votes earlier this morning -- the Building Authority.

MS. MOLNAR: We just gave--

MR. ROSSEAU: We gave the approval for the projects.

MS. MOLNAR: For the projects, right.

MR. ROSSEAU: Which means the Building Authority has only one way of doing a project, which is through debt.

MS. MOLNAR: But we're not approving their bond, per se. We're just saying "Yes, do the project, and then go back and find a way to finance it one way or the other."

MR. ROSSEAU: Well, they're only-- Under the Building Authority's statute, their only financing mechanism is bonding.

MS. MOLNAR: But there was some suggestion of Federal money, too.

MR. ROTH: And private donations, as well.

MS. MOLNAR: And private donations.

All right. You're going to check into that, as far as our duties. How will you get back to us, by memo, fax us letters, or what do you want to do?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I'll get back to all the Commission members in writing. If we have business to undertake, we'll schedule a meeting, and we can discuss it at that point. Other than that, I would respond to all of the Commission members in writing. Am I being given some direction on what we're going to do about the debt report?

MS. MOLNAR: I didn't hear any direction. I thought we really weren't issuing a debt report. We're not making any recommendation at this time due to a lack of man power, etc.

Now, as far as requesting staff and a line item, if it's not in next year's budget-- Is there another budget outside of that budget from Treasury, anything?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: No.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I move that the Commission Chair and Executive Director write a letter on behalf the Commission to the Governor and the Legislature and whoever else -- I guess the Treasurer -- and indicate our dilemma regarding lack of staff with the appropriate expertise, lack of full-time staff, in an attempt to get a budget item for appropriate full-time staff for this Commission and the recommended legislative changes that would be necessary so that the work could be spread evenly throughout the year, and that would be my motion.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Would you accept an amendment before someone seconds that?

MR. DAVIDOFF: What would that--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I would also have a copy sent to Senator Littell, who Chairs the Appropriations Committee.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Absolutely.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I mean, I'm saying -- I know he's represented here today, but-- I don't even know if that's in order or not, but in any event, we have also-- The one I was really thinking of is Assemblyman Kavanaugh, who is Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Assembly.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I will gladly amend that to--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Because you have to appreciate the budget going on now -- the budget process -- will be the legislative budget, which is a distillation -- is that a right word, do you think? -- of all our needs as against the background or the backdrop of priorities. So they would be the best ones to send a letter to, aside from the Governor.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Right. I would accept that in addition to sending it where I said, to add these two individuals.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: And one other further thing, someone has to indicate within the letter the legal responsibility of this Commission in keeping with its charge mandated under the statute.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Which has been expanded in recent years--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Right.

MR. DAVIDOFF: --without expanded staff.

MS. VILLANE: Can I ask a question?

MS. MOLNAR: Maggie.

MS. VILLANE: What kind of staff are you looking for and how many?

MR. DAVIDOFF: I think that our Executive Director and our Chairperson would be-- I would leave it to them to decide from their experience on this Commission to make that decision. I think we just need some. Right now, we have no appropriation whatsoever for staff. We are getting our staff from the gratuitous OMB, and I think that-- I believe between Mr. Shidlowski and our Chairperson that they could come together and frame an idea of what they think would be appropriate. I, right now, wouldn't know. That's why I'm delegating it to them. I trust they'll know.

MS. MOLNAR: You made a motion. Was there a second? I'm sorry.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: I'll second that motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Any further discussion? (no response)

Okay. Take a roll.

Did everybody get the motion? It was a letter to the two Chairs of the two Appropriations Committees and the Governor's office. All the Legislature?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Well, the Legislature. It could be to the leaders in each party.

MS. MOLNAR: The Treasurer's office, indicating the dilemma and the lack of staff and our legislative responsibilities which have been enlarged.

Okay.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Davidoff?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Annese?

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Roth?

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Assemblyman Romano?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Mr. Kull?

MR. KULL: As the letter is going to the State Treasurer, I choose to abstain.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Good move. (laughter)

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Commissioner Anselmini?

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: Yes.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Higgins?

MS. HIGGINS: Abstain.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Villane?

MS. VILLANE: Abstain.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: Ms. Molnar?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

All right. Paul and I will get together and chat and get something out. In the meantime, we will check on that, as far as our responsibilities, and get something back to--

Is there any other business to come before the Commission? (no response) If not, I would believe our next meeting would probably be, maybe May? I don't know if we'll meet in April. Not prior to April 15 for our accountants here.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Point of -- personal point-- Could I ask, and even if we have to chip in, that we get some coffee or tea at each meeting?

MS. MOLNAR: It's not in the budget. No. (laughter)

MR. DAVIDOFF: I'll put in my two bucks.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I will make an official request to the OMB Director that we have coffee and--

MR. DAVIDOFF: And he can come over for a bagel.

COMMISSIONER ANSELMINI: She. She.

MR. DAVIDOFF: She.

MS. MOLNAR: I want to thank Mr. Davidoff.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROMANO: Did you bring the--

MS. MOLNAR: Yes. I want to thank Mr. Davidoff for bringing all the munchies today.

MR. DAVIDOFF: And there is plenty, so take.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you very much.

The meeting is adjourned.
 

(MEETING CONCLUDED)